We summarize the latest updates on several ongoing stories impacting Lake Country readers.
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Please contact Karen Pilarski at [email protected] or 262-513-2657.
The story: Panera in Oconomowoc
The last we knew: Plans were approved in September 2022 for a Panera location at 1414 Olympia Fields Drive. The 3,500-square-foot restaurant will have a drive-thru.
The latest: Construction has yet to be started on the chain restaurant, which Oconomowoc City Planner Jason Gallo said is due to some easement issues that is preventing the business from wanting to move forward.
What’s next: Gallo said he anticipates having the easement issue worked through soon and for Panera to break ground in spring.
The story: Ixonia Elementary expansion
The last we knew: A groundbreaking ceremony was held for an expansion at Ixonia Elementary School, N8425 North St., on Oct. 17.
The latest: Site work is continuing through the fall with major construction planned for the spring on the expansion that will result in each grade level having three classrooms and more collaboration space for students.
What’s next: The project should be completed in August, in time for the 2024-25 school year.
The story: Dog park
The last we knew: An approximately 16-acre dog park, which has been approved by the city, includes a 1.6-acre small dog area and a 14.7-acre large dog area, along with a water pad is planned for 101 Forest St. The park will be known as Toto’s Territory.
The latest: The Dog Park Committee has raised over $46,000 for Toto’s Territory, as of last week.
What’s next: Donations will continue to be accepted, including in donation boxes that are located around the city. The Dog Park Committee has a goal of raising $75,000.
The story: Lac La Belle boat launch
The last we knew: The city unveiled plans for the renovated Lac La Belle boat launch at City Beach, 324 W. Wisconsin Ave., at a public meeting April 27. Plans call for an improved launch site that will be raised up a little bit, new, accessible restrooms, kayak and canoe launch and storage areas and more parking.
The latest: The Wisconsin State Joint Finance Committee approved the grant for $1.02 million for the boat launch project.
What’s next: Planning will continue for the project that is scheduled to begin in August of 2024.
Oconomowoc Splash Pad
The last we knew: Ground was broken on phase 1 of the Oconomowoc Rotary Splash Pad next to Imagination Station in Roosevelt Park, 630 S. Main St., on Oct. 30.
The latest: Progress has been made quickly on the site, said Parks, Recreation and Forestry Director Eric Boettcher, thanks to Brinkman Construction, which donated its services for demolition and site preparation.
What’s next: Fall preparation for the site should be completed by the end of November, which includes waterline installation and drain lines. The plan is to have the splash pad ready for use by July 4, 2024.
The story: VA Clinic in Oconomowoc
The last we knew: Construction had begun on the outpatient clinic for veterans at 1289 Olympia Fields Drive in summer. The 8,500-square-foot facility that will be operated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. It will serve residents of Waukesha, Walworth, Washington, Jefferson and Dodge counties.
The latest: City Planner Jason Gallo said the project is nearing completion. As many as 5,000 veterans may receive care at the new clinic once it opens.
What’s next: The clinic is anticipated to be in operation by the end of the year with an official announcement expected soon about when the doors will open for clients.
The story: Hartland Quarry Development
Last we knew: In Hartland, the development of a large residential complex has been discussed at many plan commission and village board meetings. 267 residential units split between townhomes and multifamily flats will be constructed on the site of a former quarry off Capitol Drive and Palmer Drive. The village had been discussing creating a tax incremental district for several months.
The latest: On Nov. 9, the village Joint Review Board considered all documents, resolutions and public comments made on the Hartland Quarry development. No questions were raised, and the creation of tax incremental district number seven was approved unanimously. It is proposed to pay costs totaling about $18.2 million.
What’s next: With the large size of the development, an expected completion date is not available. Before construction can begin on the buildings, there is approximately $8 million of sitework that will need to be done prior to constructing the residential units, which includes crushing concrete material, raising the quarry bed and installing water and sewer improvements.
The story: Waukesha Parade Memorial
Last we knew: Virginia “Ginny” Sorenson, Leanna Owen, Tamara Durand, Jane Kulich, Wilhelm “Bill” Hospel and Jackson Sparks lost their lives after Darrell Brooks drove his SUV through the 2021 Waukesha Christmas parade. He injured over 60 people. He was later sentenced to life in prison.
The Parade Memorial Commission selected Thrive Architects to design both the Main Street and Grede Park Waukesha Christmas Parade memorials. Thrive Architects, a Waukesha-based firm, proposed a set of six metal ribbons representing the six people killed at the parade in November 2021; the ribbons would flow individually but be linked. The memorial would be located at the Five Points intersection downtown. Their memorial for Grede Park would feature elements of the ribbons coming together to form a heart.
The latest: The Waukesha community gathered at 4:39 p.m. on Tuesday on the two-year anniversary of the parade tragedy for the Main Street Parade Memorial Dedication & Remembrance Ceremony.
What’s next: The Grede Park memorial construction is anticipated to be completed sometime in 2024.